The ACLU of Texas along with ACLU National and other partners filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new Texas law banning abortion as early as six weeks in pregnancy, before many people know they are pregnant. If allowed to take effect, this law would effectively eliminate abortion access in the state and impose an unconstitutional ban on abortion.

Texas Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) is set to take effect September 1, 2021. This unprecedented law authorizes private individuals to file civil lawsuits to “enforce” the unconstitutional abortion ban. This scheme allows anyone — a relative, an abusive partner, or even a stranger — to sue the health care provider and seek a court order that would block the patient’s abortion and prevent the provider from performing any abortion after approximately six weeks in pregnancy. The law also incentivizes bounty hunting by offering money “damages” of at least $10,000 to anyone who successfully sues an abortion provider or anyone who “aids and abets” after approximately six weeks in pregnancy.

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on behalf of a broad coalition of Texas abortion providers, their patients, clinic staff, abortion funds, practical support networks, and clergy. 

To view, download, and save additional legal documents associated with this case, please visit ACLU National.

Update 9/2/21: The U.S. Supreme Court denied an emergency request to block SB 8, which took effect on Sept. 1, and forced almost all abortion in Texas to come to an abrupt stop. This ruling allows the law to remain in effect. The case will now proceed before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  

Date filed

July 13, 2021

Court

U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas

Status

On appeal

Case number

1:21-cv-00616